Archives For Citi Field

The original plan was to fly to San Diego for the Fourth of July weekend. I have never been to the sunniest city in the country and the Yankees would be in town playing the Padres. Simultaneously crossing a city and baseball stadium off the list over a long weekend sounded like a solid plan to me.

Then, my cousin Anthony called. His fiancé was flying to New York to look for a wedding dress and she suggested he tag along to see me (after all, I am in the wedding). Also the last time Anth stayed with me in the city, there were still boxes from the movers in my living room; it had been a few years.

So I scratched the plans to fly out, took Friday off of work, and bar-hopped with my cousin on the Upper West Side. It was fun for a couple of reasons: I love when I get to spend time with him and given my schedule, a weekday happy hour is as rare as a Donald Trump apology. Not to mention that when he visited me just months after I moved here, I wasn’t as familiar with the area and we didn’t spend much time at my apartment anyways. So it was nice to have a lay of the land and show him around – from the excellent Bloody Mary at The Dead Poet to the oyster and Italian beer special at Tarralucci e Vino.


On Friday night we ate dinner with his fiancé’s family. They spent Saturday dress shopping; we eased in to the day by heading downtown and finding Anthony a tuxedo at my favorite boutique, John Varvatos’ flagship store at 315 Bowery, the old CBGBs. From there, we celebrated with a few more beers, watched Italy lose to Germany (ugh) in the EuroCup, then made our way to Citi Field where the Mets beat the Cubs (another ugh).


Sunday was another great day; brunch on the roof of Eataly and pizza from Grimaldi’s with another Bloody Mary or two in between. They took off in the afternoon for the airport and I headed back to my hood to run in Central Park and begin working off the libations.


It was a perfect weekend: Anthony found his tux, his fiancé found her dress and I can still look forward to visiting San Diego one day.

All I remember reading in the email I received from Amy Freeze was that we were running through Citi Field and it was for charity. I’m a huge baseball fan (diehard member of Yankees Universe) and so I was in. The event – a Spartan Sprint – was a week before the Billboard Music Awards. As with most award shows, I usually switch up both my workout regime and my diet a few weeks prior to the event, so that I’m in good shape come time to be in front of the camera for a few days straight. So this was perfect – a combination of working out, raising money and awareness for a charity and doing so in Citi Field, all while wearing Yankees gear from head-to-toe.

If you’re familiar with what a Spartan Sprint is, then you know that those two words should have immediately caught my attention. They didn’t. Freeze asked me to bring gloves, and also told me we were doing the 3 mile route. I run 4 miles on the regular. I got this! Gloves? Well that’s a little strange but sure, I’ll pack them before I take the 7 out to Flushing.

I did not fully realize what I signed up for until we were approaching the starting line. Before the start, we had to scale over a wall erected in one of the corridors that leads up an upper level of the stadium. And this wasn’t even a part of the course that was timed!

Thankfully, I was surrounded by a great team. Freeze is a meteorologist for Channel 7, and she recruited fellow forecasters Audrey Puente from Fox 5 and Stephanie Abrams of The Weather Channel. Rounding out the group was Gabe Boyar, Amanda Marasco and fitness guru Tom Holland. We had a fun group and when we needed help climbing a wall, thankfully Tom was there to lend a hand.
MMRF1
The course was equally excruciating and exhilarating. Bear climbs up ramps and stairs, carrying jugs of water and sand bags around sections of Citi Field’s upper level, push-ups in the visiting team’s clubhouse, climbing up a net that extended from one side of the center field wall to the other… when I wasn’t praying that I wouldn’t be too sore the next day, I was taking in the views and counting my blessings. Thank goodness I’m in good health, and I get to experience something like this.

Sore the next day? I was sore for the next week.

But it was all worth it. I made some new friends, had a great time and most importantly, helped out The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. After we completed the course and I partook in a celebratory beverage, Freeze told us about the great things that The MMRF does. The research and efforts of the foundation have led to the FDA approval of seven drugs for multiple myeloma in the time it would normally take for just one drug to pass.

Another great attribute of The MMRF, especially as the son of a two-time breast cancer survivor: They use their research to help other cancer studies as well.

Corporate donors cover overhead costs, so every dollar I donated to The MMRF went right to the cause. And the volunteers couldn’t have been more helpful, especially in encouraging the members of “Team Freeze” to keep fighting.

I’m sure glad we did, but I’m more thankful for the work they do… and the fact that for once, I “blindly” walking in to something was actually a positive.

The Whiptones, a teenage acapella doo wop quartet from Whippany, NJ will perform the National Anthem at Citi Field on Monday for Opening Day. The guys talked about the big gig and showed off their vocal skills when they stopped by “Ralphie Tonight.”